Long-term dietary strawberry, spinach, or vitamin E supplementation retards the onset of age-related neuronal signal-transduction and cognitive behavioral deficits

J. A. Joseph, B. Shukitt-Hale, N. A. Denisova, R. L. Prior, G. Cao, A. Martin, G. Taglialatela, P. C. Bickford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

380 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research has indicated that increased vulnerability to oxidative stress may be the major factor involved in CNS functional declines in aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and that antioxidants, e.g., vitamin E, may ameliorate or prevent these declines. Present studies examined whether long-term feeding of Fischer 344 rats, beginning when the rats were 6 months of age and continuing for 8 months, with diets supplemented with a fruit or vegetable extract identified as being high in antioxidant activity, could prevent the age-related induction of receptor-mediated signal transduction deficits that might have a behavioral component. Thus, the following parameters were examined: (1) oxotremorine-enhanced striatal dopamine release (OX-K+-ERDA), (2) cerebellar β receptor augmentation of GABA responding, (3) striatal synaptosomal 45Ca2+ clearance, (4) carbachol-stimulated GTPase activity, and (5) Morris water maze performance. The rats were given control diets or those supplemented with strawberry extracts (SE), 9.5 gm/kg dried aqueous extract (DAE), spinach (SPN 6.4 gm/kg DAE), or vitamin E (500 IU/kg). Results indicated that SPN-fed rats demonstrated the greatest retardation of age-effects on all parameters except GTPase activity, on which SE had the greatest effect whereas SE and vitamin E showed significant but equal protection against these age-induced deficits on the other parameters. For example, OX-K+-ERDA enhancement was four times greater in the SPN group than n controls. Thus, phytochemicals present in antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach may be beneficial in retarding functional age-related CNS and cognitive behavioral deficits and, perhaps, may have some benefit in neurodegenerative disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8047-8055
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume18
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Antioxidants
  • Cerebellum
  • Cogn itive behavior
  • Diet
  • Dopamine
  • GABA
  • Norepinephrine
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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